Wedding Celebrants – Everything You Need to Know
Can anyone be a wedding celebrant?
Celebrants are the lucky people who stand in front of everybody at a wedding, say something beautiful about the couple, get the couple to repeat their vows to each other and then announce them as married, right? It sounds easy, like something your friend or uncle could do and it would save you money, wouldn’t it? With sample ceremony scripts online, can a friend or family member be your Celebrant and officiate at your wedding? Boutique events group is your perfect wedding venue in Melbourne delivering fairytale weddings for the bride and groom.
WHAT IS A WEDDING CELEBRANT?
The word, meaning and value of a Celebrant are generally unknown to most Ontarians. This piece intends to change that by providing a fundamental outline about celebrity and in particular, wedding celebrant.
After a lovely, prolonged spring and summer of weddings, my thoughts have turned to what I would want from my wedding celebrant if I were getting married – and over the next few weeks, September and October weddings allowing, I’ll share my thoughts on how to get the best from the Celebrant you’ve chosen.
When he asked me to help him, and Sabrina get married, I felt incredibly honoured to be asked. After all, Jake, as seen hundreds of celebrants over the years and for that reason, he could have chosen any of them.
Technically, if you are having a non-legal celebration such as a symbolic wedding ceremony or wedding blessing then yes, but think very carefully before deciding if this is the place to save money Read on!
Generally, public knowledge regarding wedding celebrancy in Ontario is scarce; its existence in our culture and community has been missed thus far.
This blog assumes that those reading it know what a celebrant is, and does – see my page,
Celebrant Weddings – a guide
Jake & Sabrina love an adventure. As a result, they didn’t want to have a traditional wedding. Likewise, they didn’t feel the need to do it the way they had seen it done a hundred times before.
Wedding Guest or Wedding Officiant?
First up, does your family member or friend want, I mean to want the enormous responsibility of orchestrating the theatrics of the wedding ceremony itself, making sure that the entire wedding party does and says what they need them to do and say, exactly when you need them to do and say it? Check out our extensive list of Wedding Celebrants to help you tie the knot.
Quite simply, a Wedding Celebrant is a ceremony specialist trained to write and create personal, memorable and meaningful ceremonies for weddings and vow renewals as well as baby namings (blessings), funerals and memorials. Celebrancy is not a one size fits all service.
(I have been asked how I ‘got to be a Priestess’, introduced as ‘The Judge’ and referred to as the ‘vicar’…I am none of those although I rather like the thought of being a priestess or having the gravitas of a judge.)
Hence this made their decision to have a beautiful Great Ocean Road Elopement an easy one. Also, I am sure you will agree with these stunning photos; it was a very intimate way to get married.
Are they sure, I mean sure that they want the enormous pressure of writing the perfect wedding script that captures the love story of the wedding couple, with the right degree of emotion that delivers the wedding vibe that the couple has set their heart on without getting teary themselves?
Public Knowledge – Wedding Celebrant
Couples entering into a marriage are often unaware that there are Wedding Celebrants out there who can create a wedding ceremony just for them; a ceremony which will be faithful to their journey together as a couple, inclusive of family and friends while at the same time encompassing their lifestyle and beliefs.
Ask questions, ask for explanations, make suggestions.
Don’t hesitate to ask you won’t be the first person to ask that question. I’ve been asked:
‘If we write our vows, do we have to learn them by heart?’
It is easy to see why they chose Loch Ard Gorge, near Port Campbell on The Great Ocean Road in Victoria for their wedding. Loch Ard Gorge is re-known for its stunning scenery and breathtaking views and is only a couple of hours from Melbourne. They are hence making it the perfect backdrop for an intimate and extraordinary ceremony.
Is your family member or friend specific, I mean sure that they can deliver the ceremony in a professional manner that genuinely connects with every single person at that wedding?
The unique part of a ceremony created by a Wedding Celebrant is that it is entirely custom written from start to finish for the couple. The ability of a Wedding Celebrant to personalize is the key to an engaging and relevant wedding ceremony.
No! But you can if you want to.
‘Do we have to tell people we’ve married legally already?’
‘Can we let people think this is the ‘real’ wedding?’
Yes, the atmosphere will be as ‘real’ as a ‘real’ one – but more romantic and unique to you…
As the sun slowly disappeared, they made significant and emotional promises to each other. You will see from these stunning photos that there was tears, laughter and everything in between.
With their photographer and videographer as witnesses, they had a wedding just the way they wanted.
They celebrated their love and excitement about future extraordinarily. Above all, there was no stress and no worrying about everyone else, and therefore it was the perfect way for them to get married.
Or would they prefer to be a wedding guest, relaxing at the ceremony with the other guests and enjoying the whole wedding experience, celebrating the couple’s union along with the other family members and friends?
Celebrants also can meet the increasing demand for non-religious or wedding ceremonies outside of a church setting, providing a personal and inclusive service which can be small and intimate or lavishly conducted on a grand scale. A church setting, for example, is not required to ensure the romantic nature and beauty of the wedding ceremony.
Can we sing?’
Oh yes – and dance down the aisle too if you like..! (Although see a later post for a dire warning)
‘We’re gay -will you marry us?’
Of course and with pleasure…!
‘Can we marry in a field of sunflowers?
Some people just give off this vibe of marvellous, genuinely positive energy, Fiona is one of them.
I’ve been working in the wedding industry for the past 11 years. And I have met and watched hundreds of wedding celebrants do their thing.
Out of everyone over the years, each time I did a wedding where Fiona was the Celebrant, she stood out and made me go “she is going to do my wedding one day”.
We have compiled a list of our top Wedding Celebrants to help you celebrate your special day.
The Celebrant as director, producer and actor
If you think of a wedding as a piece of theatre, with two main protagonists and a supporting cast, all of whom have to say their lines at a particular time. Well, the Celebrant is the ultimate theatrical multitasker!
However, using a Wedding Celebrant at any ceremony does not mean that it cannot include a religious component. Celebrant ceremonies are inclusive of all beliefs and cultures. Many Certified Celebrants are also non-denominational Ministers.
Yes – please do!
‘Is there a way we can involve our children?’
‘My family are religious – will they still find the ceremony meaningful?’
She has a unique way of making people feel things and be in the moment. To make them laugh and cry, she is a storyteller. And an incredibly kind and genuine human.
To officiate the wedding, they have to be the director, producer and actor all at the same time, while always appearing calm and unflappable no matter what is happening within the main proceedings.
While every part of the ceremony may be scripted, a right celebrant should also be prepared to confidently adlib when the need arises whether it may be severe nerves, noisy children, lost ring, couples too emotional to speak, the list is endless!
The only mandatory words to be spoken at a wedding ceremony are very short, as prescribed by the Marriage Act of Ontario. The sky is the limit on all other desired inclusions to the service.
Yes, they almost certainly will – my ceremonies this year have included Roman Catholic families, Hindu families, Jewish guests – all of whom have made a point of saying afterwards how much they enjoyed the ceremony.
Fiona was the Celebrant at my wedding in December 2019, and she was there for us and helped us with every step.
I would 100% recommend Fiona Garrigan as your Celebrant. She made our wedding day perfect and is not only a high-quality Celebrant but a high-quality person.
A symbolic wedding ceremony may include any, all or none of the following: Processional; Welcome; Opening address; Declaration; Words of Commitment; Readings; Rituals; Religious elements; Multi-faith traditions; Personal vows; Certificate signing; Kiss and first presentation and Recessional.
Still sure you want the job?
Different elements are often added to the wedding ceremony including traditions from other cultures, religions and times past full of symbolism to make it unique. Celebrant ceremonies can also incorporate a particular theme which is of importance to the couple and their lifestyle.
‘Can we still have ‘an aisle’?
Yes – it’s all in the way you seat your guests – even if they’re sitting on picnic blankets, you can walk through them.
‘Can we have an ‘elopement’ ceremony?’
‘Can we have a ‘traditional’ ceremony?
Of course – it’s your ceremony – your choice.
‘Can we have a very informal, laid back ceremony…?’
As above – your choice.
The Celebrant as minister of rituals, traditions and faiths
To officiate a bespoke wedding ceremony, a celebrant needs a few ritualistic tricks up their sleeve. The best-known legend is the exchange of rings. A perfect circle of love without end, symbolizing to the world that a couple is committed to each other.
The best news of all is that celebrity provides components to a wedding ceremony which have not been readily available in the past. Now in Ontario and beyond, we have a meaningful, memorable and rewarding alternative wedding ceremony choice available to all couples.
But a celebrant should have a wealth of other rituals they can bring to your ceremony to signify unifying two families or in remembrance of an absent loved one. A visual representation of joining two people together such as sand ceremonies, wine blending or a handfasting with cords (the origin of tying the knot).
Most importantly, “cookie-cutter” ceremonies can be tossed aside.
Please consider using a Wedding Celebrant to create the wedding ceremony of your dreams and pass the word along on to your friends, family and clients. Once a celebrant ceremony is observed, the celebrity difference will speak for itself.
For assistance and information on celebrity in general or find a Wedding, Family or Funeral Celebrant in your area, please contact us.
See our list of Melbourne Wedding Celebrants to help you make an informed decision when saying your vows.
Rituals can supercharge an already emotional and personal occasion. Plus being able to incorporate religious elements can satisfy not only the needs of the couple but of their families when a couple of two different faiths get married, for example.